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The New Label Lingo for Oils

Packaging can extol virtues of olive and sunflower oils.

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Some food labels may get a little more cluttered. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in a statement that the agency will begin allowing some oils, such as olive oil and sunflower oil, to display the following health claim: “Supportive but not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that daily consumption of about 1┬¢ tablespoons (20 grams) of oils containing high levels of oleic acid may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

Oleic acid is an unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, which research suggests can improve certain heart-health measures, like cholesterol. The catch is that the claim must also convey that to reap these rewards, the oils need to contain at least 70% oleic acid and “should replace fats and oils higher in saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.”

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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